Kentucky wrongful death verdict results in a $1.45m verdict against Hopsital

A Kentucky wrongful death verdict of $1,450,000 against St. Joseph Hospital was upheld by the Kentucky Supreme Court on May 5, 2016.

At the trial court, the Kentucky wrongful death jury found that St. Joseph Hopsital committed “gross negligence” in the treatment of the patient, James Gray, after two visits to the emergency room. Mr. Gray was a 39 year old man who died after attempting to receive care from the hospital.

He went into the emergency room with extreme abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and severe constipation. Four and a half hours after his arrival, Mr. Gray was discharged from the hospital without appropriate workup. The hospital put him in an ambulance without any instructions on where to take him. He was eventually taken to his niece’s house, but upon seeing Mr. Gray, she refused and told them she was not able to provide him the care he needed. So, the ambulance took him back to the hospital.

At the hospital, instead of readmitting him because he was still suffering from pain and in distress, the staff transported him in a wheel chair to a motel across the street. They paid for his hotel room but left him there without any one caring for him.

The motel staff noticed dried bloody vomit in his room and called 911, which resulted in Mr. Gray being taken back to the same hospital. He was seen by doctors who told Mr. Gray that if he returned to the hospital again he would be arrested. The hospital took him by ambulance to his niece’s home again. His niece asked for him to be returned to the hospital, but they refused.

A few hours later, Mr. Gray died. An autopsy revealed that Mr. Gray had a severe ulcer and died of the rupture of that ulcer. After a lawsuit was filed, the hopsital refused to take responsibility for Mr. Gray’s death. A jury held the hospital responsible an awarded a Kentucky wrongful death verdict of $1.5 million against the hospital.

If you believe a family member has been the victim of medical malpractice, please consult a lawyer so you know your legal rights.